Beth Mooney’s Ashes appear over and her World Cup campaign is in doubt after the world’s best Twenty20 batter suffered a broken jaw at Australia’s team training. Mooney was hit by a ball under the grill of her helmet at training on Monday and was set to have surgery on Tuesday, with officials uncertain when she will be able to return.
The injury is almost certain to rule Mooney our of the entirety of the Ashes, with the T20 component of the multi-format series to start on Thursday. Australia travel to New Zealand for the 50-over World Cup immediately after the Ashes, with their first match against England on 6 March.
Mooney’s absence comes as a massive blow to Australia. She is the No 1 ranked T20 batter in the world with two centuries to her name, and also averages 43.45 in one-day cricket. Mooney has also formed the most destructive opening partnership in women’s cricket, with Alyssa Healy at the top.
Australia do have options to cover Mooney’s absence, with Rachael Haynes the most likely to move to the top of the order to replace her.
Meanwhile, Australia have other issues to contend with. Ellyse Perry was ruled out of Tuesday’s warm-up match in Adelaide against Australia A after being caught up in a Covid-19 scare.
Her arrival in Adelaide was pushed back from Monday to Tuesday, but she is expected to be available for Thursday’s T20 international against England.
Molly Strano and Katie Mack will also miss out on playing for Australia A in the match after testing positive for coronavirus. They will join the ‘A’ group in Canberra, for matches against England A.